As I’ve been slicing fabric for weaving, I’ve processed a lot of fabric in the “November” color story, which is mostly men’s clothing, and therefore, mostly tans, khakis, and dark neutrals. I pull out approximately 1/4 of every garment for knitted rug stash, and my box of browns was overly full. It was time to plan a knit rug based on neutrals, after the recent brightly colored pair, Colors of India and Teal & Peach Nautilus.
First, I selected all the tans and browns on hand, sorting out the grays that are stored in the same box. I didn’t want to mix gray in with this color story. I did this step in the evening, but I couldn’t continue in artificial light. When the sun lit up the living room through the sky light the next day, I could make more refined color decisions.
I had a much bigger selection than I realized and decided to make two rugs from this selection effort, rather than just one. It will be interesting to see how different the two rugs look when I’m done. They may look like a matched set, or they turn out to be unrelated.
After I’d sorted the browns from light to dark, I added a pile of accent colors, using color suggestions from a collection of magazines, paint chips, color books, and my own intuition to guide my selections. Color wheels, per se, rarely suggest enough variation to give really useful guidance in textiles.
The accent colors get sorted by shade, and then checked using glasses with red lenses. Red lenses take the “color” out of the world, leaving only the light and dark shades of gray scale. It’s the same as taking a black and white picture, only easier to flip in and out of as I move fiber from one pile to another.
Now that I’m looking at the picture, I may move the peach ball in the lower left corner into shade #2. It’s a bit dark in both the gray scale and in the colored image to stay in shade #1.
The next step in creating a rug is to tie up large balls of each shade, so that when I’m knitting, I don’t have to stop and think about what color comes next. I’ll do this when I’m talking on the phone, or watching a movie on TV. It doesn’t take the same amount of attention and thought as making the selections.